Chokotto marin

Fashion magazine ViVi's main headline this month:

"Chokotto marin" ga ichiban kawaii!
"Kinda marine" is cute to the max!

That is to say, a woman whose outfit draws subtle inspiration from those who ply the open sea (or maybe just the bits around Shōnan) will be more fashionable than one whose outfit does not.

And here is ViVi's cover this month:

I know it's too small to see properly, so here's the lowdown:

  • Salty-dog captain's hat with gold rope highlight
  • Jauntily-knotted scarf with wave pattern and tricolor trim
  • Navy-and-white horizontally striped dress with big golden anchor embroidered across torso
  • Navy cardigan
  • Fishnet stockings

Maybe that last one is reaching. Still, the overall effect is not "chokotto marin." It's "bitten by a radioactive French sailor from the 1920s." (Which is actually kind of hot.)

Popularity factor: 5


Do they do a lot of photoshop for these covers? If not, the costume work and pose makes her neck look so very long, her head bobbing on top of that scarf.

I'm curious... for learning japanese, do you find the magazines like this useful, or too full of slang and wordplay to follow easily?


I would have pegged it as "Last 30 seconds of a Benny Hill sailing sketch."


That is also an excellent answer.

Ali: I've always assumed that at least the covers and poster ads are photoshopped... there can't be that many people in Japan with consistently perfect skin, for one thing.

Magazine-level stuff is great for learning, I think. You always know at least the general field of discussion, and it's not like fashion magazines are written for an especially high reading comprehension level...

Leonardo Boiko:

Maybe it's "chotto" marin as opposed to classic, démodé sailor skirts?


Polled spouse (editor at Japanese fashion magazine I shall refer to here only as FJ) about photoshopping. Response was "we don't, much; but wouldn't be surprised if others do more retouching." Mind you, her lot tend to favour 14-year-old models from eastern Europe, which probably takes care of any skin issues at source. Your standard idol is likely to be far pimplier.

I once heard from a photographer acquaintance that the retouching alone for a TV cosmetics commercial featuring a famously poor-skinned ex-idol had cost JPY10mn in once instance he knew of.

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